Quick win or not quick, aim is winning !


There are phrases, words that hold irrational powers over us. Beyond their intrinsic meanings, they convey values that tend to push us towards cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is a concept of social psychology formulated by Festinger (1957) that presents the internal conflict peculiar to an individual’s thought system when information, opinions, behaviors or beliefs that directly concern him / her are incompatible with each other.

This dissonance can occur especially when a person is confronted with a situation that is not consistent with his or her beliefs or system of values.

This is the case of “quick wins”, marketing term, extremely appealing, which means that by performing simple actions we will obtain quick and beneficial results.

In our service delivery systems, time (number of days of service) and seniority (cost per day) are causal factors in the overall cost of a service, which themselves vary according to the scope of the service. .

This phenomenon is constant that we are in a mode package, governed (in the past time) and even when we blithely compromise the concepts of agility.

So in short, by using inexpensive actions, we will get visible and beneficial results quickly.

Beyond speech: reality

Etymology of Quick

It will be noted very quickly (pun not intended), that the word quick is rarely associated with an objective representation combining quality and durability (two crucial factors in the qualification of a service). Take for confirmation the few examples below:

  • A fast food brand whose baseline is: “A taste of legend”, shows it in the text itself.
    (Legend: traditional (deformed or amplified) representation of facts or real characters).


  • Quick & dirty: Scientific Protocol (Biology / Computer Science) defined with little care and responding to a specific problem
    A chocolate powder, symbolized by two mascots Groquick or the rabbit Quicky,(https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groquik#L’éviction  // https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/quicky).

Quick Wins’ Genesis

It’s been at least fifteen years now that the term “quick wins” is used in the digital world. This sector of activity has experienced, like any other, industrialization, and the standardization of its practices has produced an increase in the quality of the products delivered (site, mobile app, etc.).

At that time, the “quick win” was often the result of a design or optimization error, or stemmed from  an insufficient level of maturity on the part of customer teams or accompanying teams. The discipline was young (the first French e-commerce site dates back to 1997), and we were all learning.

Conscious of these shortcomings and these approximations, service companies have developed expertise and recruited specialists (Ergonomist, UX designer, Anthropologist, Data scientist, etc.). These new profiles also focused on positions within advertisers raising the level of maturity of customers, the level of requirement and ultimately the quality of deliverables and finished products.

Quick Win’s Hard Life

Imagining broken solutions, because of the importance that the discovery of a subject as an external consultant can confer, can be really fast.

However, before recommendation and implementation, it will be necessary to understand why the teams in place have not implemented these solutions themselves, so that they can reclaim the subjects and continue the experiments.

  • Skills / training?
  • Blocking point in the organization?
  • Undetectable technological blocking point without really going into the topics?
  • Durability of the proposed solution (ephemeral solution, then counter-performance).

Considering answers to these questions already suggests a misunderstanding of the term “Quick” and in fact, the cost.

Finally, as explained by Bertrand Duperrin (Head of Employee and Client Experience @Emakina) in an article “How quick wins can be misleading”, the context of experimenting with quick win can influence the results of the experiment with more importance than the experimental factors themselves (Hawthorne effect).

So, what ?

We can also consider things in Test & Learn approach (with defined perimeter, means are constrainced), this tactic driven by the data will validate hypotheses by successive iterations, and:

  • understand processes, exchanges, organization in place.
  • learn from the data collected, the populations observed.
  • initiate a continuous improvement process (adapt actions according to the results data).
  • adapt our speech to the level of maturity of each interlocutor of the project team.
  • initiate “work together”.
  • reveal the real causes of the expected effects / benefits.

The development of cause-and-effect relationships and therefore understanding and mastery of the causes will allow effects to be controlled, reproduced and amplified.

As seen previously, in the introductory article “In Search of Performance“, the “Lean Startup” approach and its variation “Lean Analytics” make it possible to solve these challenges / problems by maintaining a strong demand on the costs of accompaniment.